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NCJ Number: 66493 Find in a Library
Title: FORFEITURE UNDER 18 U S C 1963 - RICO'S (RACKETEER INFLUENCED AND CORRUPT ORGANIZATIONS) MOST POWERFUL WEAPON
Journal: AMERICAN CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW  Volume:17  Issue:3  Dated:(WINTER 1980)  Pages:379-398
Author(s): W W TAYLOR
Corporate Author: American Bar Assoc
Criminal Justice Section
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 20
Sponsoring Agency: American Bar Assoc
Washington, DC 20005-1009
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: ATTEMPTED APPLICATIONS OF THE PROPERTY FORFEITURE PROVISIONS OF THE RACKETEER INFLUENCED AND CORRUPT ORGANIZATIONS STATUTE (RICO) EXCEED CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY.
Abstract: RICO'S MOST UNUSUAL PROVISION, CRIMINAL FORFEITURE, WAS DESIGNED TO PROVIDE A MEANS OF SEPARATING THE CONVICTED RACKETEER FROM THE ENTERPRISE OR BUSINESS CORRUPTED SINCE LEGITIMATE ENTERPRISES BOUGHT AND CONTROLLED BY RACKETEERS' FUNDS CAN BE CONFISCATED. PROPERTY FORFEITURE FOR CRIMES HAS NOT BEEN IN FORCE IN THE U.S. SINCE COLONIAL TIMES, AND RAISES MANY QUESTIONS. HOWEVER, PROPONENTS OF RICO POINT OUT THAT FORFEITURE APPLIES ONLY TO LEGITIMATE ENTERPRISES OWNED AND CONTROLLED BY FUNDS MADE THROUGH RACKETEERING, DOES NOT COMPROMISE DUE PROCESS OR THE EIGHTH AMENDMENT, AND IS DESIGNED TO RESTORE VICTIMIZED COMMERCE TO HEALTH. ALTHOUGH LIMITS ON THE GOVERNMENT'S ABILITY TO PURSUE A RICO DEFENDANT'S ACQUIRED WEALTH REMAIN UNDEFINED, AMERICAN LEGISLATIVE HISTORY AND RICO'S LANGUAGE CONFINE FORFEITURE TO SPECIFIC INTERESTS. ALTHOUGH PROPERTY FORFEITURE FOR CRIME WAS COMMON IN MEDIEVAL ENGLAND, THE FRAMERS OF THE CONSTITUTION CONSIDERED FORFEITURE CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT. U.S. COURTS HAVE SINCE EXPRESSED CONCERN OVER POSSIBLE ABUSES WITHOUT PROHIBITING FORFEITURE. SINCE FORTEITURE IS UNPRECEDENTED, LEGISLATIVE HISTORY ARGUES THAT CONGRESS INTENDS IT FOR ONLY A NARROW CATAGORY OF INTERESTS--OWNERSHIP RIGHTS OF A CONVICTED FELON IN A RICO ENTERPRISE--TO STRIKE AT ORGANIZED CRIME'S INFILTRATION OF LEGITIMATE BUSINESS. ALTHOUGH RICO'S VAGUE LANGUAGE ENABLES THE GOVERNMENT TO ARGUE THAT ALL INCOME FROM RACKETEERING OR UNRELATED PROPERTY CAN BE SEIZED, CONGRESS DID NOT INTEND RICO TO DIVEST FELONS OF THEIR WEALTH. DANGERS OF DISPROPORTIONATE FORFEITURES, FOREFEITABLE INTERESTS, THE PRACTICAL FEATURES OF A RICO PROSECUTION, AND OTHER MATTERS ARE DISCUSSED. FOOTNOTES ARE INCLUDED. (PAP)
Index Term(s): Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Crime specific countermeasures; Cruel and unusual punishment; Labor racketeering; Laws and Statutes; Organized crime
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66493

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